Memorial Day, originally recognized as Decoration Day and founded shortly after the Civil War, is a way to honor the men and women of the U.S. Military who have sacrificed their lives to ensure our freedom. This year has brought us a war being fought on a global scale, but not from a traditional enemy and not being fought by traditional soldiers. The COVID-19 global pandemic has taken the lives of countless physicians, surgeons, nurses, respiratory therapists, radiology technicians, housekeepers, and other hospital staffers. And we continue to fight.
On this Memorial Day 2020, Maryland TraumaNet would like to take a moment to recognize all of the Frontline Healthcare Soldiers around the World who have lost their lives fighting COVID-19. In memoriam, we salute you.
As the death toll from COVID-19 rises, we are also beginning to see the mental, spiritual and emotional stressors take effect on our Frontline HealthCare soldiers. Trauma teams are used to dealing with tragedy. We’ve developed very effective coping mechanisms that help us get though the horrors we see on a daily basis. We have undergone intensive training to help you get through what may be the worst day of your life. But now, many of us are finding that those coping mechanisms aren’t enough.
We would also like to recognize those who continue to wake up every morning and fight this deadly enemy. We also need to bring to the forefront those who may be struggling with the moral injury of fighting this enemy day in and day out, seeing patient after patient suffer, and watching some our colleagues and co-workers succumb to this horrible disease. Some of us deciding that the moral injury is too great, and taking their own life. Please know, we are here to help, we are fighting here with you and alongside you and YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!
We have compiled an extensive list of mental health resources to help us through these difficult times. If you, a colleague, a spouse or a friend need some extra support, need to talk, are going through a mental health crisis or contemplating suicide please see the links below and reach out.
James Gannon MS, RN, CEN
Communications Chair, Maryland TraumaNet
Trauma Program Manager, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore